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Consumer protection

Dealing with super complaints and fighting evil cartels. Could the Enterprise Act 2002 be British consumers’ new hero? Richard Lawson reports

17 January 2003

The Enterprise Act 2002 is the biggest overhaul in consumer and competition law since the Fair Trading Act 1973. It represents the Government’s fulfilment of a pledge in its 2001 election manifesto to give more independence to the competition authorities and tackle trading practices that harm consumers. The June 2001 White Paper, ‘Productivity in the UK: Enterprise and the Productivity Challenge’, set out the Government’s intention to focus on enterprise and productivity as the cornerstone of its economic reforms in this Parliament. The specific measures in this Act were foreshadowed by three White Papers: ‘Productivity and Enterprise: A World Class Competition Regime’ (Cm 5233); ‘Productivity and Enterprise: Insolvency - A Second Chance’ (Cm 5234) published in July 2001, and ‘Modern Markets: Confident Consumers’ (Cm 4410), published in July 1999. Consumer law The Office of Fair Trading, first established under the Fair Trading Act 1973, now der...

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